The Farm: Angola, USA

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Liz Garbus
Jonathan Stack
Wilbert Rideau

Liz Garbus
Jonathan Stack

Wilbert Rideau

Director of Photography
Sam Henriques
Bob Perrin

Mona Davis
Mary Manhardt

Original Music
Curtis Lundy

Set in America’s most infamous and largest maximum-security prison, The Farm tells the heartbreaking story of life and death in prison. Focusing on the rites of passage of six men over the course of one year, this film articulates each man’s struggle to sustain hope and achieve ever-elusive freedom. Guided by Wilbert Rideau, former death row inmate and now nationally acclaimed print and video journalist and criminal justice expert, and Warden Burl Cain, we are guaranteed a level of intimacy and insight rarely achieved in prison films. From cells, dormitories, death row banquets and funerals, the AIDS wing of the hospital, to the fields, where 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year for the rest of their lives, the inmates work, 90% of them African-American, with white overseers on horseback with rifles at their sides, The Farm tells the story of an archaic system of imprisonment and punishment.

The Farm premiered at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. Opened theatrically at New York’s Film Forum June 1998, and aired on A&E in September.

“No Stereotypes about prison life intrude on the candor and intimacy of “The Farm: Angola, USA,” a discreetly searing documentary.”
— The New York Times

Winner of the 1998 Grand Jury Prize at The Sundance Film Festival, 1999 Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography for Non-Fiction programming, and Picture Editing for Non-Fiction programming.

Winner of The Best Documentary Prize from the New York Film Critics Circle, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association, The Santa Barbara Film Festival, and The National Society of Film Critics. The Golden Spire Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the Audience Award from the Double Take Documentary Film Festival.

Nominations include an Academy-Award for Best Documentary, Outstanding Nonfiction Special, and Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction Programming, Sound editing.